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Acrylic, pastels, watercolors…. and mushrooms? You may not think of mushrooms as art supplies, but some artists are using mycelium to create sculptures and other forms of art.
Not only does the mycelium have a story about interconnectedness, but the actual growth forms and colors of fungi make it the perfect medium for creating art.
These are called mycohuman performances. This is how in mycelium sculptures, art and interconnectedness are one and the same!
One example is an artist who created a biofeedback artwork so that humans and mycelia could interact using sonic technology. By making the interaction visible, artists are using mycelia to illuminate the ways in which humans and plants are intimately connected.
Another artist added some of her own blood to a petri dish and the art installation is simply a live yeast growth on the small blood sample. It’s a message about rage, about life force, and about regeneration thanks to the natural world. Artists are asking critical questions about the nature of connection and humanity’s role in global ecosystems.
Many artists are creating multisensory, interactive group experiences around mushroom installations. Participants are invited to move through a space where mushrooms are growing on large man-made sculptures. They can touch, smell, and experience a space dominated by fungi.
This is important on a theoretical level, too. As artists begin to work with scientific processes, they break down the hard distinction between art and science. They are bringing experiments outside the laboratory and making them visible to the average person. It can be difficult to appreciate the poetry of fungi from inside a petri dish. But artists are determined to showcase the mycelium’s beauty as a model for interconnectedness.